The Cottonwood HS course of study blends California State Content Standards, interdisciplinary, project-based learning, and 21st-century skills with the Montessori approach to education. Our students are inspired to develop a growth mindset and take charge of their own learning.
As one of the leading Montessori-inspired high schools in the country, Cottonwood emphasizes innovation, experiential learning, design thinking, and meaningful interdisciplinary studies. Our high school is designed to meet the personality and interest of students exactly where they are, in a relaxed, open environment where students can respectfully express themselves.
At Cottonwood HS, students benefit from consistency, inspiration, and support. Each student is assigned a single teacher, or learning coach, for all four years of high school. Learning coaches help students find educational resources, assist students in targeting key academic learning goals, work with mentors to ensure the rigor of internships, and actively involve parents in their student’s education. Daily schedules have time built in for individual and/or small group tutorials for students (with teacher guidance when needed).
Students are encouraged to explore their passion for learning by participating in week-long field studies linked to various themes and academic work. These may include mini-courses, field studies, or local and international trips based around areas of interest such as the arts, astronomy, environmental service, civic studies, and more.
The Cottonwood HS students must complete the courses required for graduation. In addition, students are encouraged to pursue internships, special projects, and other endeavors for credit toward graduation, with guidance from their assigned learning coach.
By graduation, all students will have: